bpost and DHL strike deal on cross-border overnight shipping in Benelux
DHL Parcels and Belgian national postal service bpost have announced that they will combine their services in a non-exclusive partnership called ‘Dé Benelux bezorgers’ (in Dutch: The Benelux delivery staff) to make it easier for online merchants and consumers to harness ecommerce in the region.
In particular, the cooperation between the two companies will make it easier and more convenient to offer next-day deliver cross-border between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This has previously been a problem despite the proximity of the nations to each other.
Belgians spend a large part of their online budget in foreign online stores. The partnership between bpost and DHL enables Belgian consumers to shop at Dutch online stores in the evening and have their purchase delivered by bpost the next day. The same is true in the opposite direction, as Dutch customers can shop later in Belgian online stores for next day delivery by DHL. A big advantage is that cross-border returns between Belgium and the Netherlands is as easy as shopping in your home country. The partnership also creates an all-in logistics solution for e-tailers, simplifying the administrative and operational processes.
Belgium and the Netherlands are significant ecommerce markets in Northern Europe with plenty of potential to grow. The Dutch and Belgians are also keen shoppers of UK products.
It would be interesting to see if overseas, overnight shipping to the countries could be expedited from the UK, perhaps involving a partnership with Royal Mail.
A key issue would be competitive pricing and reliability. The Netherlands and Belgium might be next-door neighbours but the British Isles are hardly that far away either and flights and transport to Brussels and Amsterdam on frequent. The current uncertainty about the nature of the movement of goods after Brexit is obviously the major sticking point and clarity isn’t expected very soon. Whatever form it takes.